Friday, November 17, 2017

X-2000

Amtrak X-2000 on a visit to Cleveland on July 19, 1993. This was supposed to be the train of tomorrow, it wasn't.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Delaware-Lackawanna 2457

Delaware-Lackawanna 2457 crossing Cedar Avenue last month.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Lackawanna 889

Lackawanna caboose 889 at Steamtown last month.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Harrison Apartments

I always liked this old apartment building on Harrison Avenue. Looks like it will be torn down soon.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Baldwin Locomotive Works 26

A few views of BLW 26 from Saturday afternoon.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Philadelphia Suburban 80

Philadelphia Suburban 80 at Steamtown yesterday. The Christmas trips will begin on Friday, November 24 and run on Saturdays and Sundays until Saturday December 23. For more information see the Electric City Trolley Museum page.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Armistice Day

War Memorial Fountain on Cleveland's Mall A.
Woman at War exhibit, lobby Loew's State Theatre, Cleveland, from Motion Picture Herald, April 24, 1943.
Liberty Loan ad from Motography, April 13, 1918.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Loew's Park Theatre

60 years ago today Loew's Park Theatre closed. This was once one of the major Uptown houses at 105th & Euclid, for several decades it would usually day-and-date with Loew's Granada on the west side. The theatre was later used as a church for the next 10-15 years, then it sat empty for about ten years before it was razed in early 1981. In late 1976 my friend Russell and I explored the place a few different times, it was pretty much left wide open then.
Loew's Park during the short lived Associated Theatres era in the mid 1950's. Photo from Cinema Treasures.
From The Plain Dealer, November 10, 1957.
From Box Office, November 16, 1957.
Undated photo from Cinema Treasures.

More information on Loew's Park can be found here.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Board of Trade Building

The Board of Trade Building on Saturday afternoon.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Scranton Skyline

View from the Harrison Avenue bridge on Saturday morning. The new bridge can be seen at bottom.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Harrison Avenue Bridge

A few views of the ongoing Harrison Avenue Bridge Replacement Project.

Monday, November 6, 2017

B. F. Keith's Palace Theatre

B. F. Keith's Palace at 17th & Euclid,  Playhouse Square, opened 95 years ago tonight. The 3,500 seat theatre was designed by George and C. W. Rapp, noted architects from Chicago. The Palace was one of the last straight two-a-day vaudeville houses built in the country. The total cost was about $3,500,000 which included $1,000,000 worth of artwork displayed in the lobby.

A low key announcement from Moving Picture World, January 29, 1921.
Construction photo, September 6, 1921, Cleveland Public Library photo (CP07052).
From 1925 NVA Yearbook.
The B. F. Keith building, for a brief period of time, the tallest building between New York and Chicago. From the 1925 NVA Yearbook.
                                   From 1923 NVA Yearbook.
Another view of the lobby, from Motion Picture News, November 21, 1925.
Main floor ladies room, from Motion Picture News, November 21, 1925.
Egyptian Smoking Room, main floor ladies room, from Motion Picture News, April 7, 1928.
 Mezzanine from Motion Picture News, April 7, 1928.
Stairs and blue vase, from Motion Picture News, April 7, 1928.
Mezzanine men's room, from Motion Picture News, April 7, 1928.
Main floor, from 1923 NVA Yearbook.
Auditorium, from 1923 NVA Yearbook.
Auditorium side wall, from 1923 NVA Yearbook.
Stage and proscenium, from Louis Kuhn ad in Exhibitors Trade Review, June 30, 1923.
Stage counter-weight system, from 1923 NVA Yearbook.
Green Room, from Motion Picture News, April 7, 1928.
 Typical dressing room, from 1923 NVA Yearbook.
 Chorus Room, from 1923 NVA Yearbook.
Playroom, from 1923 NVA Yearbook.
Opening headliner, Elsie Janis, from 1924 NVA Yearbook.
Opening coverage from Variety, November 10, 1922.
Fanny Brice, held for a second week, from The Plain Dealer, December 24, 1922.
From The Plain Dealer, January 28, 1923.
From The Plain Dealer, February 11, 1923.
The ever popular Van and Schenck appeared at the Palace numerous times. From The Plain Dealer, April 26, 1924.
 From the Plain Dealer, March 8, 1925, Houdini would be held over for a second week.
Front and back covers, Houdini program, week of March 8, 1925.
The legendary Sophie Tucker, from The Plain Dealer, March 22, 1925.

On July 5, 1925 the Palace adopted a vaude-pix policy for the summer. That Fall the Palace resumed it's traditional 2-a-day policy, but it was only temporary, pix would return to stay the following summer. Vaudeville had been in decline for several years, Marcus Loew proved that the public preferred pix with vaude, so the policy change meant that Keith houses were keeping up with the times. By the summer of 1925 most major houses were running some type of vaude-pix policy, in Cleveland; Reade's Hippodrome, Loew's Allen, Loew's State, Loew's Park and even Keith's 105th were all enjoying brisk biz with this policy. By 1928, talking pix would drive the final nails into vaude's coffin. By the 1930's what was left of vaude was mostly band shows with a half dozen performances a day, sometimes more. Vaudeville was the first true form of mass entertainment in the country, it's passing was hardly noticed by most people. Within a few more years, Keith-Albee would merge with Martin Beck's Orpheum circuit to form the short lived Keith-Albee-Orpheum Corporation. A year later David Sarnoff and Joseph Kennedy would gain control of the company and reform it as Radio-Keith-Orpheum (RKO).
 From The Plain Dealer, June 28, 1925.
From Variety, July 1, 1925.
From The Plain Dealer, June 28, 1925.
 From Exhibitors Trade Review, October 10, 1925.
From Exhibitors Herald, August 8, 1925.
From The Plain Dealer, July 19, 1925.
Chicago Opera program cover, February 1926.
 From The Plain Dealer, April 18, 1926.
New organ, from Variety, May 19, 1926.
From Motion Picture News, July 17, 1926.
From Motion Picture News, July 17, 1926.
From Motion Picture News, August 7, 1926.
 Miss Keith's Palace, from Motion Picture News, September 4, 1926.
From Motion Picture News, September 11, 1926.
From The Plain Dealer, September 20, 1926.
From Motion Picture News, October 2, 1926.
 From Motion Picture News, October 2, 1926.
From Variety, October 6, 1926.
From The Plain Dealer, October 31, 1926.
From Motion Picture News, November 20, 1926.
From The Plain Dealer, February 5, 1928.
 From Exhibitors Herald, November 22, 1930.
 From Variety, September 29, 1931.
An amusing tale, from Variety, Inside Stuff, February 16, 1932.
RKO ad, from The Plain Dealer, January 1, 1933.
 From Variety, January 10, 1933.
 From Variety, January 17, 1933.
From Variety, January 31, 1933.
From Motion Picture Herald, July 15, 1933.
 From The Plain Dealer, August 11, 1933.

From The Plain Dealer, October 25, 1935.
From The Plain Dealer, March 12, 1937
 From The Plain Dealer, November 24, 1939.
From The Plain Dealer, January 5, 1940.
From Motion Picture Herald, February 24, 1940.
 From The Plain Dealer, February 3, 1941.
From The Plain Dealer, February 23, 1941.
 From The Plain Dealer, February 9, 1942.
From The Plain Dealer, February 16, 1942.
From Motion Picture Herald, May 1, 1943.

From The Plain Dealer, September 24, 1943.
From Motion Picture Herald, October 30, 1943.
From Motion Picture Herald, December 4, 1943.
 From Motion Picture Herald, January 1, 1944.
From Motion Picture Herald, January 22, 1944.
 From Motion Picture Herald, May 27, 1944.
From The Plain Dealer, June 30, 1944.
 From Motion Picture Herald, September 9, 1944.
From Motion Picture Herald, December 30, 1944.
From Box Office, June 23, 1945.
From The Plain Dealer, June 27, 1945.
From Showman's Trade Review, July 7, 1945.
From The Plain Dealer, July 11, 1945.

RKO ad, from The Plain Dealer, August 2, 1945.
 From The Plain Dealer, August 24, 1945.
From Showman's Trade Review, October 26, 1946.
From The Plain Dealer, December 5, 1946.
 From Box Office, September 13, 1947.
  From Box Office, November 29, 1947.
Crowd in front, 1949, from the Cleveland Public Library.
  From Box Office, January 10, 1953.
From The Plain Dealer, March 12, 1953.
From Box Office, March 7, 1953.
 From The Plain Dealer, June 8, 1953.
 From The Plain Dealer, March 26, 1954.
 From Box Office, March 27, 1954.
 From The Plain Dealer, June 15, 1954.
From Box Office, June 19, 1954.
From Box Office, July 24, 1954.
 From Box Office, September 4, 1954.
From The Plain Dealer, September 3, 1954.

As BO declined in the postwar era primarily due to television and the exodus to the suburbs various innovations were tried, 3-D flopped badly after an initial success. CinemaScope was fairly successful, but the widest of the wide screen process was Cinerama. Using three projectors and a curved screen, with eight channel sound, it provided depth and immersed the viewer in the scene. After several successful films, a permanent Cinerama installation was installed in the spring of 1960. This installation necessitated the removal of four of the six boxes, and a chunk of the proscenium.
 From Box Office, October 13, 1956.
  From Box Office, October 27, 1956.
 From Motion Picture Herald, October 29, 1956
From The Plain Dealer, November 2, 1956.
Manager Max Mink selling the first ticket to This Is Cinerama, Cleveland Press photo, from the Cleveland Memory Project.
 From Box Office, November 3, 1956. One would think that BO would know the difference between cameras and projectors.
From Box Office, November 24, 1956.
 From Box Office, February 9, 1957.
 From Box Office, February 16, 1957.
 From Box Office, April 20, 1957.
From The Plain Dealer, June 3, 1957.
 From The Plain Dealer, November 10, 1957.
From Box Office, July 6, 1957.
 From The Plain Dealer, November 10, 1957.
From Box Office, November 23, 1957.
From Box Office, January 13, 1958.
 From The Plain Dealer, March 28, 1958.
From Motion Picture Daily, August 20, 1958.
From The Plain Dealer, November 15, 1959.

The Palace went through an extensive remodeling in early 1960. Four of the six side boxes were removed for a new Cinerama screen, and a new projection booth was built on the main floor.
 From Box Office, May 9, 1960.
From Box Office, May 9, 1960.
From Box Office, May 9, 1960. The entire BO article is below.
 From Box Office, May 9, 1960.
From Box Office, May 9, 1960.
 From Motion Picture Daily, April 26, 1960.
From The Plain Dealer, July 15, 1960.
 From The Plain Dealer, August 21, 1960.
From The Plain Dealer, October 12, 1960.
 From The Plain Dealer, February 11, 1961.
From Box Office, June 5, 1961.
 From The Plain Dealer, March 20, 1962.
 From Box Office, April 9, 1962.
From The Plain Dealer, August 15, 1962.
 From The Plain Dealer, May 17, 1963.
From The Plain Dealer, April 3, 1964.
From The Plain Dealer, July 10, 1964.
From The Plain Dealer, August 14, 1964.

Sometime in early 1965 the Cinerama installation was removed and the equipment was replaced with more conventional 35/70 mm equipment installed (Norelco DP70's). A number of big budget hard ticket attractions followed, all were expensive flops. Agony and The Ecstasy, Is Paris Burning? and Thoroughly Modern Millie all drew crowds to the openings, but few in the weeks that followed.
 From The Plain Dealer, December 12, 1965.
From The Plain Dealer, August 19, 1966.
From The Plain Dealer, January 6, 1967.
From The Plain Dealer, August 11, 1967.
From The Plain Dealer, April 25, 1968.
 From The Plain Dealer, July 17, 1969.
From The Plain Dealer, July 18, 1969.
Palace marquee, July 2, 1969, from the Cleveland Memory Project.

The Palace closed on Sunday, July 20, 1969, the same day as the moon landing. The marquee was removed, the front boarded up and the fire escapes on the East 17th Street side were removed. The lobby was soon converted into show space for the International Trade & Fair Company, a purveyor of imported goods.
Above two pages from International Trade & Fair brochure, from the Cleveland Memory Project.

The Trade Fair lasted until the summer of 1972 when the contents were auctioned off. Smitty and I both helped clear out the remaining merchandise.

In the fall of 1973 the seats were removed from the main floor for dining and a stage was built in the lobby. This was an attempt to capitalize on the success of Brel which was running next door at Loew's State. Removing those seats was the stupidest thing we did during those years. Two productions were staged over the next two years, both flopped.
 From The Plain Dealer, November 4, 1973.
 From The Plain Dealer, November 6, 1973.
  From The Plain Dealer, November 6, 1973.
 From The Plain Dealer, November 6, 1973.
Cole Porter cast photo by William Gesten/Foto Arts Inc.
More info on the Cole Porter show can be found here.
From The Plain Dealer, September 29, 1974.
Alice! cast photo by William Gesten/Foto Arts Inc.
More info on Alice! can be found here.
Lobby 1975, photo by William Gesten/Foto Arts Inc.
Mezzanine 1975, photo by William Gesten/Foto Arts Inc.
 View from the stage 1975, photo by William Gesten/Foto Arts Inc.
Looking towards the stage 1975, photo by William Gesten/Foto Arts Inc.
Over the next couple years the Palace sat mostly dark, aside from the occasional party. An exception was the Marvin Hamlisch benefit.
 From The Plain Dealer, July 5, 1975.

In the summer of  1977 work began to replace the missing fire escapes and re-seat most of the main floor. I recall Todd Reeves, Paul Clement, Jed Ellis and myself filling 55 gallon drums with stage weights and water to test the existing fire escapes on the west side of the auditorium. They passed with flying colors. Numerous shows were presented over the next few years.
 From The Plain Dealer, September 4, 1977.
From The Plain Dealer, December 25, 1977. Miss Corio was quite an unpleasant individual.
Spring 1978 line-up from Cleveland Magazine, March 1978.
Fall 1978 shows. from The Plain Dealer, September 10, 1978.
Spring 1979 shows, from The Plain Dealer, February 4, 1979.
Updated spring list, from The Plain Dealer, April 8, 1979.
Cleveland Orchestra, from The Plain Dealer, April 8, 1979. The Gershwin night was especially great.
 Fall shows from The Plain Dealer, September 23, 1979. Unfortunately both Cher and Diana Ross cancelled.
From The Plain Dealer, September 21, 1979.
From the Plain Dealer Friday magazine, October 26, 1979. This was a pretty good show. I must have seen it 20 times that month.

A big management shake up at the end of 1979 sent most of us packing. I was there until mid January 1979. Last summer we made a visit, below are a few snaps.